By Callum Patterson
With the recent news that Leanne Crichton has called time on her Glasgow City playing career, we are looking back over her three stints at the club.
Crichton has been a key figure for much of the past decade, but initially she joined Glasgow City way back in 2007 for a brief period before a four year stay at Celtic winning the League Cup. She then had a season with Hibernian. In her second spell with City between 2012-14, she played a key part in the first three of four trebles in a row with some big performances including helping City to the last 16 of the Women’s Champions League that year v Arsenal, after the side had a fabulous win over Standard Liege over two legs in the previous round in 2013. They went better in Europe a year later as she and her team mates went down in history as a side to reach the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League for the first time after thrilling ties against Medyk Konin and FC Zurich in the Last 32 and Last 16 respectively.
Before that UWCL Quarter-Final, Crichton made the decision at the time to move to Notts County to test herself in the WSL in early 2015. She spent two-and-a-half years at the club.
She returned ‘home’ in May 2017 and made an immediate impact with a spectacular strike v Rangers that month which earned the Glasgow City goal of the season award. She became a core member of the City squad and at times a crucial figure for scoring some huge goals for the club in her third spell. Domestically she scored against Hibernian in the penultimate game of the 2018 season to edge out their title rivals 2-1. This helped gain the 12th SWPL 1 title in the row for the club, which they secured the following week. In 2019 in an early season encounter against the same opposition it was Crichton again who leapt up to head home and a big team celebration followed in a tight Friday night away 1-0 win in Edinburgh. At the end of that season she was one of the scorers of the end-to-end dramatic Scottish Cup Final, which Clare Shine won in the 90th minute v Hibs 4-3.
In Europe in recent seasons her big goals have been important again. In 2018, she scored a header for City away at Somatio Barcelona in Cyprus to secure a 2-0 win. This proved to be important as City lost the home leg but went through 2-1 on aggregate. In the most recent 2020/21 campaign she was there to pounce again v Valur in Iceland in their Champion’s League 2nd qualifying round tie. She though is part of a handful of players to have reached the Quarter-Finals twice for Glasgow City. She was part of the team in those epic two legs v Brondby in October 2019. Unlike in 2014/15 however, she did feature in the Quarter-Final itself, albeit not until August 2020 due to the pandemic.
In a tough campaign of stop/starts due to the Covid break where City had to rebuild their squad for a tougher challenge in SWPL 1, Crichton was still a key core squad member who played her part to help City get over the line for their 14th successive title.
The 33 year-old had called time on her international career earlier this year. She amassed 72 Scotland caps and scored 3 goals. She was part of the historic Scotland squad to qualify for both the Euro 2017 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which catapulted our national team to so many more girls across the country.
In recent years away from playing, Crichton has grown in to be a fantastic football pundit and presenter on television and radio. She moves to the North Lanarkshire side in a player/coach role but her main focus will be on the coaching side, something which she has been developing in recent years too working on her coaching badges while playing for City and is an A licensed level coach. CEO Laura Montgomery has mentioned already that hopefully Glasgow City will welcome her back at some point. Everyone within the family wishes her well.
159 starts, 31 goals, 7 league titles, 4 Scottish Cups, 3 League Cups. A legend at this football club! #OCAC